Crappy undersized wire in overpriced Saturn block heater

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by private, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. private

    private Guest

    My pet peeve is the crappy undersized wire that Saturn uses on the genuine??
    Saturn brand block heater for the S series. The idiot junior engineer that
    spec'd the wire obviously had no experience with winter. They must have
    saved a fraction of a penny on the material cost which they then wasted on
    the fancy plastic flex wrap and plug boot that is also unusable in the cold.

    It is by far the most expensive ($125. ?) block heater that I have ever
    purchased and is only available from Saturn. I was unable to find an
    aftermarket heater for this engine or an immersion type heater which I
    believe would be far superior. I do not know why an emersion heater was not
    designed for this engine and can only speculate that there was no thought of
    heating designed into the block casting and that there is not enough room
    for an internal element. Florida engineering. If anyone knows of an
    aftermarket immersion type heater please post

    The copper conductor is so thin that it breaks inside the insulation next to
    the molded plug. I think this is due to flexing when the plastic insulation
    is cold and hard. I have always discovered that the wire was broken after
    dark and at 30 below when I plugged in for a morning start. This has
    happened to me several times on two different cars. YMMV

    Happy trails
    private, Feb 15, 2005
  2. California. The whole cars must be designed by Californians, or at
    least my '93 SC2 was:

    * No power at highway speed at all. It can't maintain normal speeds on
    hills with a passenger without downshifting.

    * Crap snow performance. Worst car in the snow I've ever driven. It
    simply can NOT deal with it.

    * Poor cold weather performance. It doesn't like starting, staying
    started, or running in the cold.

    * Minimalistic A/C. The only two motels I was in in my life that didn't
    have A/C were in California. Even in freaking Maine they've got it. Do
    Californians hate cold weather or something?

    * Tiny with huge crumple zones. Perfect for Cali highways and their

    * Gutless 4 cylinder buzzbomb. And this was the 'Sport' model.
    Seriously, were the early Saturns intended as trainning models for when
    we all got electric cars rammed down our thoats?? (Another Californian
    thing...) Or is it just the design staff never left LA or LA traffic?

    * Automatic seatbelts freeze up in bad weather. They actually get stuck
    mid travel.

    * Hopeless defroster.

    * Leaks in the rain. If it were designed in Florida, it'd be

    * Windows freeze. No kidding, try opening one if it's below 0 and humid

    * Nowhere near enough hot air to the feet when requested. There are two
    ports about 1 inch by 1 inch somewhere down there, that's it.

    * The *only* FM raido I've ever owned that has static. Not a Cali thing
    but pretty annoying anyway.

    * Designed for midgets. I won't go there...
    Philip Nasadowski, Feb 16, 2005
  3. private

    Steve Guest

    I have a '99 SC2 in Indiana; they improved the performance (until the rings
    stick) and the snow handling isn't too horrendous with some good tires. As
    for the rest of you complaints, they still hold true.
    Steve, Feb 16, 2005
  4. private

    Wurm Guest

    98 SL2. I was cruising at 150kph last weekend between cities with 3 other
    passengers. Car was sluggish, but held up fine.
    Sorry, you simply have no idea how to drive in snow, I'm in montreal (you
    know, real winters...) and I've never used winter tyres, no extra weight in
    the back, and I park on the street. Apart from getting stuck in a snowbank a
    few times, the car handles great.
    Car started great at -30 since i bought it in 2001, died on me once this
    winter, replaced the battery, good as new.
    no comment really, I have AC, happy with it, works great when i need it.
    I walked away from a fairly serious accident which took out half the front
    of my car without a scratch on me. No problems there whatsoever, sounds like
    your praising it actually.
    were the older ones weaker?.
    now you're just complaining for no reason
    see above
    This is true
    unless the windows are frozen over, no problems at -30, complaining again
    without reason are we?
    this I'll agree with, but its not a big deal, its no worse or better than
    most other *value priced* cars
    now you're really grasping at straws....
    bah, I'm a big enough dude, fit fine, back seat is small but didn't you
    check that when you bought it?, why buy it if it didnt fit your needs?,
    doesnt that sound like a stupid thing to do?

    got anymore fabricated complaints?
    Wurm, Feb 16, 2005
  5. private

    Bob Shuman Guest

    The OP was about a 1993 SC2. Your replying with info on a 1998 SL2. I'm
    not sure how you are qualified to respond on that vehicle. We too have had
    excellent service from a 1996 SL series vehicle and it always starts no
    matter how cold and handles well with a good set of all season tires, even
    in heavy snow. But, this is not relevant to the vehicle he posted his
    complaints about.


    Rest deleted
    Bob Shuman, Feb 16, 2005
  6. private

    Wurm Guest

    well crap.....
    Wurm, Feb 16, 2005
  7. private

    Jim Sanders Guest

    Note: 93 SC1 had an 85 HP motor, 95 and newer 100 HP
    Jim Sanders, Feb 18, 2005
  8. private

    David Guest

    We purchased a good quality block heater cord from Part Source, which is
    Canadian Tire, for less than half the Saturn dealer's price. Has worked
    good for two winters in Saskatchewan, where it is -40!
    The trick to preventing the wire from breaking at the plug is to not over
    flex it when disconnecting it. A little care can save some frozen fingers.

    David, Mar 5, 2005
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